Monday, August 30, 2010

Senior Hurling Final: Tipp Outclass Galway

Galway 2-8 Tipperary 3-15

For the neutral observers it was a disappointing final. Outclassed was the word on everybody’s lips after the game as Tipperary were in total control and never looked in danger of letting Galway back into the game once they had put some distance between themselves and the tribesmen. The anticipated battle between Kilkenny men Willie O’Dwyer and Kieran Joyce never really materialized as O’Dwyer had a frustrating outing and never really was a factor in the game. At the half the Tipp lead was 8 points and would have been more than the final margin of 10 but for two late Galway goals that dressed up the scoreboard somewhat.

Tipp's Michael Gleeson gets around
Stephen Dineen's challenge.
After fifteen minutes the sides were level with four points each, but several wides for Tipp and a close call in front of the Galway goal gave notice of what was to come for the rest of the game. Eric Ward was called on to come off his line to save from Shane Bourke who was clean through with the goal in sight. Martin Boran earned a yellow card for a challenge on Paddy Nolan as Nolan was coming out with the ball. The Galway corner back was one of the bright spots of the day for Galway. Michael Gleeson, who was on form for Tipp, put the defending champions into a one point lead and Boran converted a free before Tipp’s first goal came. Colin Fennelly made the most of his chance and Tipp led by five. It was lead of six a minute later as Bourke pointed and in the space of 5 minutes a tied game had swayed decidedly in Tipp’s favour. With Joyce dominating the Tipp half back line Galway struggled to make any impression on the deficit and constantly returned the ball to Tipp when in possession. In the five minutes leading up to half time, Boran, Joyce, and Derek McNicholas all pointed to a lone Galway point from a Willie Hyland free. With Tipp eight points to the good and Galway looking to be struggling the outcome looked inevitable.

Enda Concannon tries to get something going for Galway.
A goal and two points to start the second half put an end to any hopes that Galway had of realistically making a stab at a comeback. Derek McNicholas pointed and like in the first half, some wayward shots early in the half from Tipp were easily afforded. Goal number two came from McNicholas as he caught cleanly on the edge of the small square and batted the ball into the floor of the net. Galway were denied a goal after Thomas Lowry saved well from a Shane Murphy first time pull at the other end. An off the ball incident ended in Stephen Curley getting a yellow card for intervening on behalf of Greg Lally who was jabbed by the butt of a Tipp hurley, and was doubled over on the ground. Galway did find the net twice before the end, however, it was way too late for Galway when two goals went in. After SHane Burke had goaled for Tipp to extend an already enormous lead to fourteen points, Stephen Dineen got on the end of a ball dropped in by Hyland and netted for Galway. Shane Maher put a 21 yard free high into the roof of the Tipp net a minute later, but by that stage Tipp already had their name on the cup. An impressive repeat for Tipperary having gone unbeaten for the season. A bridge too far for Galway who in making the final have put their name back on the map of hurling in Boston.

Galway: E. Ward, P. Nolan, S. Curley, A. Callinan, B. Regan, E. Whooley, G. Lally, S. Dineen (1-0), S. Maher (1-0), W. O’Dwyer, W. Hyland (0-7), S. Murphy, E. Concannon (0-1). Tipp: T. Lowry, J. Kindregan, J. O’Keefe, E. Gleeson, K. Joyce (0-1), S. Hickey, C. Dempsey, M. Gleeson (0-2), D. McNicholas (1-3), M. Boran (0-8), P. McGrath, S. Bourke (1-1), C. Fennelly (1-0).

By Rory O'Donnell

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